tv Larry King Live CNN January 23, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EST
and the next day and the day after that. we're going to be here all next week if we can. that's it for "360." thanks for watching. "larry king" starts right now. >> larry: an earthquake ravages haiti. 3 million of its people desperate for food and water and nowhere to go. no one to help them. each with a story. >> took us four hours to get to him. >> they are still hearing voices in the rubble. >> we have people dying. >> larry: stories from haiti next on a special edition of "larry king live." ♪ all can be heroes just for one day or we can be heroes ♪
>> larry: haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and has little infrastructure to begin with and was left with nothing after the quake. yet somehow, some way, people managed to survive. there are amazing stories that are going to be hard to forget. >> there's so many incredible moments i'll never forget. the first morning we were here right after the earthquake, wednesday morning, as soon as we got here, we went out and just walk down the street came upon a number of family members and neighbors who were trying to rescue this little girl named bea who was pinned under the rubble. all we could see were her feet. and they had been working for, you know, all that morning trying to free her. >> she's clearly alive. you can hear her crying out. you can see two of her feet at this point. they've been able to -- >> this handful of guys just working under the hot sun, literally digging through the rubble with their hands.
you could hear bea crying out in pain. you could hear her screams. and then the miracle of having her pulled out alive. i mean, we kind of didn't know what to expect. we didn't know how long this was going to go on. we were probably there a half an hour, 45 minutes and then they figured out a way to move some things and chip away at some things. and they pulled her out. she was alive and she was okay. i'll never forget that amazing feeling of everybody -- of suddenly being free and everybody on the street just stopping and applauding and just being stunned and so happy for her. even amidst this strategy and this death. people banded together. and, you know, did what they could. and went beyond what they could. i mean, they did what they didn't have to do. and they did it with their bare hands and with whatever tools they could find. they freed this little girl. they saved this little girl's life. the other moment i won't forget is we were sort of caught up in a melee of looters. people who had broken into a store and stealing candles.
quickly started getting out of control. young guys started arriving with weapons. they had knifes. they had screwdrivers. they had pieces of wood they grabbed. pieces of debris, some broken bottles. and the strong would take from the weak. and somebody would get a sack of candles and then a group of four young men would descend on that guy and start attacking him in order to steal that bag of candles. and i just remember seeing out of the corner of my eye a piece of cement or a rock being thrown from on top of the building, and it hit a little boy in the crowd. and all of a sudden, everyone kind of ran away from him and there had been more rocks being thrown at the looters on the roof. and this little boy tried to get up and then collapsed back down again. blood was just pouring from his head. i just grabbed him and ran.
i remember i could feel his blood on me. i could feel it on my arm, on my back. and it was warm. and then i set him down and he was totally stunned. he had no idea where he was and what he was doing. he was clearly just -- he had a head wound. i sort oaf eye didn't know what to do. i'd never done anything like this before. there was no -- i looked around and there was no one around. so i just picked him up again and put him over this barricade that someone had built and someone else took him and i think gave him a towel for his head and someone else just carried him away through the crowd. i never saw him again. i don't even know who he was or what his name is or what happened to him. but i keep thinking about him. i keep thinking about that moment. the scene of the cemeteries again, one of those things i will never forget. i think it was thursday, two days after the quake.
and you know you would see people wheeling bodies through the streets on wheel barrows. we just happened to drive by as somebody was wheeling a coffin through the street. we got out and started talking to them. we followed them from the cemetery. at the cemetery, they were opening up old crypts and just shoving as many bodies into the crypts as possible. there was literally a mound, a pile of humans. a pile of remains of people. they are just brought to the cemetery literally piled into mounds. probably about 20 or so people. many of them small children. some workers here saying they are doing the best they can. there is something overwhelming at this point. they would literally grab a body, drag it and toss it into a crypt. and, i mean, i've been to a lot of places. i've never seen bodies handled like that and old graves being opened and people being put in. and then we, you know, discovered mass graves the next
day. you know, it's just -- in those early days, you kind of thought you had seen it all. and then, you know, a new hour would come and you would be somewhere else and you would see something else that, you know, that you never even thought possible. there are these moments, these moments that kind of give you hope. there are these moments that remind you that the haitian people are strong. and i know it sounds like a cliche, but they really are. generations of haitians have been through things that people can't imagine. i mean, dictators and governments that are just based on stealing and corruption and killings in the night and brutality and just things which are incredibly unfair. and so there has been suffering for a long time in haiti among many generations of people. and they bear it. and they bear it with dignity and with strength and with resilience. and all those words often become cliches. but they're all true here.
and we were driving down a street and came upon a woman who was just sitting there singing. and there were several of her family members and her friends around. they'd been sleeping, some of them on that corner. and they were just singing a song. a religious song. and we stopped. we got our camera and started taping them. she started dancing. and it was just, you know, just a brief little moment. just one scene happening on one street. ♪ it made me hopeful. and i think it gave the people who were singing strength. and it just was a sign to me of strength and a sign of resiliency, in spite of the fact they are living on the street, in spite of the fact they don't know what the next day is going to bring. you know, there is faith. and there is strength and there is hope. and you see that, you know, you see that everywhere you go. ♪
>> larry: death and disease are not new to the people of haiti. but the earthquake was a catastrophe that no one, no matter what their circumstances, was prepared to deal with in any way. >> i remember when we landed in port-au-prince, some of our first thoughts were, we didn't see the devastation initially. we were driving along and a lot of the buildings we saw were actually okay it seemed. but then all of a sudden, you turn to this one neighborhood and it seems like the entire neighborhood was flattened. building after building down, rubble in the street. impossible to pass. people out in the street still very stunned by what had happened. and i think it was somebody in the car suddenly said look over there. and i said what is it? and they said there are bodies everywhere. and i remember my eyes sort of
looking right over the bodies because i couldn't process, i think, what i was seeing. at least not instantaneously. it's a dead body right here. and if you look over here, it gets even worse than maybe you can possibly imagine. sure enough, there was just body after body after body. at least 25 that we counted in a line. simply outside this building. there was a building that was completely destroyed right next to it. those bodies likely came out of that building. it was just really hard to imagine all these dead bodies in the street. one of the images that i think i don't want to try and remember but can't forget either is this guy carrying two babies, literally walking outside, sort of carrying them in his arms just back and forth. and then taking these bodies and literally tossing them into this bulldozer. took the bodies and tossed them into the bulldozer and the bulldozer picked up those bodies
and dumped them. just like garbage these bodies are being treated. i remember seeing these teenage kids climbing up the side of that dump truck sifting through the bodies and looking for a loved one apparently. and i don't know if they'd be able to find that loved one. these people were not identified before they were sent to these crypts in the ground. they just vanished. they just vanished literally off the face of the planet. one night we were covering a story that we thought was a story of things starting to recover. it was these field hospitals having been set up outside a hospital that really wasn't functioning very well. and these doctors are starting to take care of patients who otherwise weren't getting care. they were performing operations, giving them medicines. early evening we started to get murmurs these doctors were going to leave. and leave all these patients behind. and i remember thinking to myself, that can't possibly happen. doctors, nurses, health care professionals, they would never do that. sure enough, later on that night, the u.n. trucks came in. these doctors all got on board
those u.n. trucks and they left. leaving my crew, myself to basically be frustrated, be confused by what happened and then to stay and take care of these patients. the ambulance now pulling in. they have nowhere to go. this is it. and, frankly, i am it right now because there are no doctors or other nurses here. trying to tell them that we are completely -- we're left in a lurch here. we don't have the supplies to take care of the patients. this is one of the most frustrating things i've ever been involved with. i feel really helpless. we're going to see what we can do. all the patients did well that night but it was one of the most frustrating things i've ever seen. literally throughout the course of a night my faith in humanity was completely trashed and then restored by the hard work of my crew and the people who decided to help out. >> sometimes you just have to keep them warm and rest. god can take it from there.
>> we've been talking night after night about the fact there is so much aid in this city, so many supplies, medical supplies, antibiotics, pain medications, things that can help people right now. but those things are stuck at the airport. they're not getting to people who need it the most. we decided to actually go to the airport and look and see if the supplies were and why it was taking so long to get them out. >> take a look. i mean, boxes and boxes of supplies. all kinds of different formula in there. antibiotics. pain medications. all sorts of different things. >> can you help us? >> sort of striking to us that we were able to go into the airport, tell people what was going on on the other side of the wall of the airport in the city and within 15, 20 minutes walk out with bags of supplies. antibiotics, pain medications, things that could help people right now. >> we're able to walk into a couple of these tents, tem
people what we needed and get lots of supplies. lots of antibiotics, pain medications. all sorts of things. >> i was reminded what people have told me in situations like this. you have to put medicine in front of guns. make sure people get care. if you take care of people, they aren't likely to be as desperate and your security concerns will go down as well. actually walking into a hospital with a bag of supplies showing it can be done. i think it's an important point and hopefully can be emblel attic of getting more of those supplies to people who need it the most. >> hopefully you can -- >> one of the images i think i will remember and was a good image of what i saw here in port-au-prince was driving along the road one day and seeing there was a water station set up. one of the few water stations at that time. and it was a hot, blazing sunny day and there was person after person, hundreds of people lined up to get that water. here's what i noticed. they were all quiet. there was no pushing. there was no shoving. there was no armed guards. these people needed one of the most basic commodities that the
human body craves and yet they were perfectly -- they were just civil to one another. they were respectful to one another. i think in many ways reflective of the haitian spirit that hopefully will carry this country afford. forward. ♪ you'll find the complete -- and completely affordable -- collection from van heusen at the men's store inside jcpenney and at jcp.com. style, quality and price matter. jcpenney.
>> larry: welcome back to "stories from haiti." the need for food, water and medicine created a desperate situation in haiti. there were legitimate fears about safety and security that saw people in difficult and dangerous spots. tonight, karl penhaul witnessed a desperate act that had deadly consequences. we warn you, some of the images in this report are disturbing. karl? >> yeah, indeed, larry. we were driving just beyond the
airport this -- this day, and as we drove by, we saw, or we heard, a single shot ring out. that got our attention. we looked across and at that point, we saw two haitian police officers holding two detained young men. and at that point as we spotted them, more shots rang out and we saw those police officers shoot the young detainees at point blank range in the process of stopping the car, we run out to see what is happening. and on the ground, one of these men was gasping his last breaths. there was another man who was badly wounded. and the police evidently thought that they had been stealing bags of rice. the wounded man denied it and the witnesses nearby said no such thing had occurred, larry. i'm cakarl penhaul. it's difficult to talk about
memories here from haiti from this disaster. there's so much information, so many sights and sound. it's really an emotional overload. what i'm left with more are impressions. this, for example. people leaving the capital port-au-prince. they've lost everything here. they've lost their homes. they've lost family. they've lost friends. and they are heading out into the countryside. and if you take a look, what does that really mean to lose everything? you've got a man like this man. all he has left in the world he's carrying in his hands. a paper bag from a phone company. a dora the explorer canvas bag and another blue bag held together by a piece of packing tape. the future for these people is uncertain. and our problem is, we have memories. i just wonder how long our memory will last if we remember
these people six months down the line or one year down the line or two years down the line and how long will it really take for life to get better for these people. [ male announcer ] each of these trucks can carry 1,400 lbs of cargo. but only one can do it while driving on electricity. the gmc sierra hybrid. the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup on the road. may the best truck win. right now 1.2 million people are on sprint mobile broadband. 31 are streaming a sales conference from the road. 154 are tracking shipments on a train. 33 are iming on a ferry. and 1300 are secretly checking email on vacation. that's happening now. america's most dependable 3g network. bringing you the first and only wireless 4g network. right now get a free 3g/4g device for your laptop. sprint. the now network. deaf, hard-of-hearing and people with speech disabilitie.
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fear that she may not be able to withstand this flight. >> larry: of all the moving stories about the earthquake's victims, the most poignant may be about haiti's children. some are now without parents. others need ongoing medical help and a lucky few are flown to adoptive parents waiting for them in the united states. >> this is an orphanage called the house of god's children. but the house is empty. 135 children eat, sleep, wash and play outside. >> you silly goose. did you take my pen? i think one of the hardest things to be an eyewitness to is the orphans and to really understand the severe orphan issue in this country. when you saw 25 babies in the back of a truck laid out. when we looked through the door, i gasped. it was so shocking. it's so hard to be a mother of
four children and see that and to see babies with diarrhea, babies who literally need to be picked up and taken to a hospital and they're not going because they can barely get them formula. that's been really, really hard. and yet at the same time, someone said to me, you know, the story of the boy in the starfish. a lot of starfish. is it worthless to try to help one at a time? and the answer is it's not. and if you can help in any way, then helping one person or five people or 100 people or 1,000 people is a good start. but to see that and not be able to help every orphan in this country. and their mothers, frankly. and their fathers. and the country. and, you know, where do you stop. it's really, that part, i think is really hard. that's hard. >> larry: soledad, what's the latest from there? >> this is the back of the truck. 25 babies are here. and it's really become this makeshift nursery across the way, another 100-plus other young children.
here's the problem, larry. let me show you. people are donating things like powdered milk. but, of course, infantss can't drink milk. they need formula. they've run out of formula. they are feeding them milk. that gives the babies diarrhea which makes them dehydrated. water and formula have to come to these orphanages. there are so many orphanages here in port-au-prince. if you think of something to donate, formula say really good and important thing to get. >> volunteers here are snaking through a hose right now to give her some drinking water. she's about ten feet away and you can see the braids of this little girl's hair. i talked with her. she's wearing glasses and she's crying. she's in a lot of pain. she's terribly scared. hundreds of thousands of people's lives were impacted by this earthquake, but on my second day in haiti, i met an 11-year-old girl who i will never forget. she was the pride of her family. anika san luis. an 11-year-old girl who sang in
the choir at church and at school. classmates nicknamed her the little lawyer because she hoped to study law one day, just like the aunt who raised her. those dreams were shattered last tuesday on the day the earth shook port-au-prince. >> she was terrified and in a great deal of pain. i met her. i told her my name. she told me hers. we gave her some water and gave her a granola bar. later we learned she had friinay escaped her trap after 48 hours, but she did not survive her terrible injuries, in part because there weren't enough doctors to treat her. >> friday night, relatives held a funeral in a church and then buried her in this cemetery. her mother is visiting for the very first time. anika's uncle says the 11-year-old displayed strength throughout the ordeal before she
died, he says she was willing to have her crushed leg amputated. what did she say? >> she said, thank you, god. you saved my life. if i lose my feet but i have life. i got some tears in my eyes. >> i will always wonder why this girl had to suffer so much before she died. and i will always ask myself whether it was something more we could have done to help her live. >> larry: how do you deal with this? >> it's not easy. it's -- i don't think it's easy for anybody here.
and if you can just imagine what it's like for the millions of people here in port-au-prince to endure this, losing in a span of a few seconds entire families, homes, everything, it's really hard to comprehend what the people behind me and in this city are dealing with right now. years from now, how will we look back on today? as the great recession? or as the recession that made us great? allstate has seen twelve recoveries. but this one's different. because we're different. we realized our things are not as important... as the future we're building with the ones we love. protect yours. put it... in good hands. ♪
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>> larry: welcome back to "stories from haiti." many americans live in haiti. some just happened to be there when the earthquake struck. many watched from afar wondering what happened to my daughter, my mother, my wife. >> fires burn in the streets. clouds of dust cover everything. even in the best of times, this neighborhood in port-au-prince is considered by locals as one of its worst.
it's bel air. as you walk through the streets of bel air you may notice a lot of the people have a white substance above their upper lip. what that is is tooth paste. what the people are doing is, rumor has spread through the community that if you put toothpaste there, it will not only protect you from the smell, the growing smells here in the area but it will also protect you from the dangerous substances in the air as well. owens mercier lives here. they wonder if their neighborhood's reputation of violence and drugs mean they'll be last to receive aid. >> no clothes, no food, no water. nothing at all. we're suffering. >> it's like people just look at bel air and see those people because they're poor and then there are bandits. but today, we're not bandits. there are no bandits. we are people dying. >> when i think about my time here, you obviously think about all of the horrible images that you've seen while being here.
but what i always try to do is i try to look for that one bright spot. and for me that came from the form of an e-mail before i even left. he sent me an e-mail before i left that said i'm trying to find my father. i don't know if he's alive or if he's dead. i'm going to send you his picture and address. if you have any time at all, please look for him and just let me know that he's okay. he tried everything but communication were down. the u.s. embassy out of reach. >> it was a sense of helplessness where you can't do anything for the person that you love. so i just -- i didn't know what to do. >> he took a chance and sent an e-mail to cnn asking for help. and i took that information. i carried it around with me. in fact, i still have the e-mail and his picture right here on my blackberry. and at one moment, we had some time and we went to this neighborhood called belmont 24. we walked around with my blackberry showing the picture,
talking about this man. and we eventually found him. >> that's him. hi. how are you? how are you? we've been looking for you. >> how are you? >> it's so good to see you. there are a lot of people back in the united states who are looking for you. your son. >> okay. >> how are you? how are you doing? >> i'm all right. i'm all right. this is how we found you. this is picture. this is you. >> yeah, that's me. and word had gotten out in the neighborhood and word had gotten to him. his name is john cerie that we were looking for him. the minute he found hirks walked up to me and threw his arms around me and hugged me and said thank you. thank you, thank you so very much for finding me. and we had a satellite phone and i got my producer. we got this man on the phone with his son and it was just, for us, it was a beautiful moment.
and i think it was, obviously, a very happy moment for them. >> okay. i'm fine. i'm fine. everything okay with me, okay? >> what was it like to finally hear your son's voice? how was that for you, nice? >> oh, very nice. very nice for me. he's my last son. >> more than 1,000 miles away, a grateful and relieved son. >> almost like a dream that, you know, we heard from him. to speak to him now again, it's hard to extend emotions but i was very happy. >> out of all of this misery and destruction to be able to do that for this one family, i think, for me, was my most memorable moment. >> i'll never forget my entire life landing at the port-au-prince airport to
immediately driving downtown and every street seeing bodies lying on the side of the street. in some cases, piles of bodies. watching the people that survived the earthquake passing the bodies by looking sad and forelorned and watching small children with their parents crying as they passed the bodies and trying to imagine the horror these little children were going through. not possibly understanding what they were looking at. one particular day we were stuck in traffic and there was an intense amount of traffic because of people trying to pick up supplies and blockades on the roads. but this particular blockade is something i'll never forget. it was because bodies were in the street. the drivers are running over the bodies and that's what was tying up traffic. >> this building was a government-run senior citizen home in port-au-prince. 80 men and women lived here. six were killed in the earthquake. the other 74 survived. now watching how they survive is
very difficult. what will also stay in my mind is a nursing home wree visited. it was destroyed. six residents of the nurgs home were killed. 64 survives. the 64 are living outside. they are living without any food or water with one doctor who showed up almost a week later and has no equipment and many of them are very ill. many have dementia. many in diapers that weren't changed. many without pants on. and it was such a pitiful situation because there are no plans whatsoever for these people. 64 old people who live in nursing home who were indigent to begin with. it's a government-run nursing home and now live outside on soiled mattresses with bugs calling over over them with no plans whatsoever for their welfare. it's something i'll never forget. you know why i sell tools?
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devastation. >> a lot of people died. a lot of people are suffering. my country is in great difficult. but i'm very happy to see how the world is with us, is helping us. >> larry: it's easy to see how haitians may have wondered if anyone heard their cries if anyone was going to help them. well, the world was listening and responded. >> one thing that really stands out to me is when we tagged along with the world food program when they were handing out these high energy bis kits and water purifcation tablets. we get down to the area where they're going to hand out all this stuff. for a while it was a little orderly. then you just -- people started just pushing, pushing and shoving. a lot of people starting to push and shove their way, trying to get up to where the food is.
and before a couple seconds went by, you are seeing women getting pushed out of the way. people are reaching into the truck grabbing it out of the truck. the people in the truck now had to pull the flaps down. they were trying to hand it out through the flap. even after that, they were reaching in and just a few people, the majority of people were fine. but just a few people got completely out of hand and what i noticed was the strong taking from the weak. that people would snatch something out of the hands of someone who was weaker. that women and small children were getting pushed to the back and weren't getting anything. it was very, very frustrating. i have to give credit in one way to the u.n. guards. perhaps they could have done more to stop the crowd, but they didn't overreact. it was just pushing. it was taking. but there was no real violence. and i think it would have been very easy for them to come in and start beating on people or
firing shots. and who knows. things could have gotten out of hand. but it was sad. we were right there in the middle of it to see this truck couldn't take it any more and go barreling down the street with what i know was a half a truck full of supplies and looking around at all these people who ended up getting nothing because a few people just caused the crowd to get out of hand. the other thing that really stood out to me is when we were driving back from the story on delivering aid and this paramedic comes running out in front of us and flagging us down saying, stop, stop. we need your truck. we need your truck. turns out they had just pulled 23-year-old woman, a college student out of the rubble and they only had one truck. the truck had to stay to look for other survivors. and he needed our flatbed pickup truck. so it was like, of course.
of course. we're putting her in our truck right now. the paramedic loads her in the truck and we go barreling down the road trying to get her to the hospital. our driver is now the ambulance driver, so to speak. and the paramedic is in the flatbed truck. he has got one hand on an iv. he's got the other hand checking her pulse. he's trying to comfort her. and it was just amazing to watch him work. and we went to one united nations hospital. more like a triage kind of center. they put her on the ground. they started working on her looking at her injuries, trying to figure out what was wrong. but this was clearly short term. i mean, she's laying there on the sidewalk. and we think it's over. and they were like, no, we need your truck again. she needs to go to a proper hospital. we don't have the facilities here to really treat her.
so we load her back in the pickup. it was amazing to see them work, standing up in the back of this pickup. and i just think nothing was better than when we pulled up at that last hospital and it's nighttime now and they take her in and her name was maxie. and she was conscious and talking. and she said she was catholic. she said she has prayed every day that she never gave up hope. she had her faith that she would be rescued. and the doctors were telling us, well, we don't even barely understand this. six days, no food, no water. and to see her and to see what they do up close and personal was -- it was pretty amazing. ♪ ♪
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♪ all you need is faith to hear the diesels humming you don't need no ticket you just thank the lord ♪ ♪ so people get ready there's a train to jordan picking up passengers from coast to coast ♪ ♪ faith is the key open up the doors and border there's room for all among those loved the most ♪ ♪ oh, there ain't no room
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